Thom Bell Linda Creed


Thomas Randolph Bell[1] (born January 26, 1943) is a Jamaican-born American singer, songwriter, arranger, and record producer, known as one of the creators of Philadelphia soul in the 1970s.[2] Bell is best known for his success with the Philadelphia sound in the 1970s, particularly with the Delfonics, Stylistics and Spinners. In June 2006, Bell was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2016, Bell was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum.

Bell, classically trained as a musician, moved to Philadelphia as a child, and as a teenager sang with Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff, and Daryl Hall (of Hall & Oates fame). Bell had also joined the fast-growing record production company operated by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in Philadelphia, working as an arranger for acts such as Jerry Butler, Archie Bell & The Drells, The O'Jays and Dusty Springfield.[2] He arranged some of the early big hits, including the O'Jays' "Back Stabbers", on Gamble & Huff's own record label, Philadelphia International Records, which they launched in 1971.[2] He also joined the two in setting up a music publishing company for their songs, Mighty Three Music.[3].

By 1971, Bell had moved on to produce another local group, The Stylistics, this time on Avco Records.[2] By then, he had teamed up with the Philadelphia-born songwriter, Linda Creed and this partnership, along with Russell Thompkins, Jr., the lead singer of the Stylistics, generated three albums full of memorable tracks.

Bell and Creed became one of the era's dominant soul songwriting teams, penning hits such as "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)", "You Are Everything", "Betcha by Golly, Wow", "Break Up to Make Up", "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and "I'm Stone in Love with You" (the latter with Anthony Bell).[2]. In 1972, Bell agreed to produce The Spinners for Atlantic Records.[2] The group, who had long been with Motown Records, had joined Atlantic after failing to get the attention they wanted.

It was the start of a successful collaboration that lasted for seven years and eight original albums. Bell revitalized the group, producing five gold albums that included chart success with singles such as "I'll Be Around", "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love", "Games People Play", and "The Rubberband Man".[4] In 1974, he was awarded a Grammy for Best Producer of the Year.[5]. In 1975, Bell produced an album with Dionne Warwick called Track of the Cat, one year after he had teamed her with the Spinners on the song, "Then Came You", which topped the Billboard Hot 100 and reached #2 on the R&B chart.

He also worked with acts such as Johnny Mathis (two albums),[2]Billy Paul, Ronnie Dyson, Anthony & The Imperials and New York City in the mid to late 1970s, but generally with less commercial appeal. Subsequently, Bell had success with Deniece Williams, including her R&B #1 and Top 10 re-make of The Royalettes' "It's Gonna Take a Miracle" in 1982;[6][7]James Ingram with "I Don't Have the Heart" in 1990 (Bell's second #1 pop hit); and Elton John, whose EP, The Thom Bell Sessions, featured back-up by the Spinners and produced the Top 10 hit, "Mama Can't Buy You Love", in 1979.

Other artists Bell produced in the 1980s included The Temptations, Phyllis Hyman, Dee Dee Bridgwater, and he even re-united briefly with the Stylistics in 1981 on Philadelphia International's subsidiary, TSOP. Warner Chappell Music acquired Mighty Three Music in 1990.[8]. A December 2008 interview with Bell featured on the Philly Soul box set, Love Train, stated he would soon compose a piece for the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Past Orchestra members played in MFSB, the house band who played on many Bell productions. 1965: "Pass Me By" - Hattie Winston. 1968: "La-La (Means I Love You)" - The Delfonics. 1970: "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" - The Delfonics. 1971: "Hey Love" - The Delfonics.

1971: "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)" - The Stylistics. 1971: "You Are Everything" - The Stylistics. 1972: "People Make the World Go Round" - The Stylistics. 1972: "Betcha by Golly, Wow" - The Stylistics. 1972: "I'm Stone in Love with You" - The Stylistics. 1972: "I'll Be Around" - The Spinners. 1972: "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" - The Spinners. 1973: "I'm Doing Fine Now" - New York City. 1973: "One of a Kind (Love Affair)" - The Spinners. 1973: "Ghetto Child" - The Spinners. 1973: "Break Up to Make Up" - The Stylistics. 1973: "Rockin' Roll Baby" - The Stylistics. 1974: "You Make Me Feel Brand New" - The Stylistics. 1974: "Mighty Love (Part I)" - The Spinners. 1974: "Then Came You" - The Spinners (with Dionne Warwick). 1975: "They Just Can't Stop It the (Games People Play)" - The Spinners.

1976: "The Rubberband Man" - The Spinners. 1979: "Are You Ready for Love" - Elton John(with the Spinners). 1979: "Mama Can't Buy You Love" - Elton John. 1980: Dee Dee Bridgewater. 1981: "Silly" - Deniece Williams. 1982: "It's Gonna Take a Miracle" - Deniece Williams. 1990: "I Don't Have the Heart" - James Ingram. ^"BMI | Repertoire Search". Archived from the original on July 14, 2012.

^ abcdefghijkColin Larkin, ed. The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). ^Gamble-Huff website recognizing 50th-year anniversary of Mighty Three Music. Jackson (2004). A House On Fire: The Rise And Fall Of Philadelphia Soul. Oxford University Press. ISBN9780195348804. Retrieved May 6, 2020. ^1974 Grammy Awards. ^Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. ^Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN0-89820-089-X.

^SHIVER, JUBE (1990-07-28). Company Buys Catalogue of Black Music: [Home Edition]". Los Angeles Times (pre-1997 Fulltext). Los Angeles, Calif., United States. ProQuest281123647. Retrieved 2020-12-30. Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Thom_Bell&oldid=1073721216".

Linda Diane Creed (December 6, 1948 – April 10, 1986), also known by her married name Linda Epstein, was an American singer-songwriter and lyricist who teamed up with songwriter-producer Thom Bell to produce some of the most successful Philadelphia soul groups of the 1970s.


Born in the Mount Airy section of Philadelphia in December 1948, Creed was active in music at Germantown High School. After graduation, Creed decided against college and devoted her energies to writing and producing music. Her career was launched in 1970 when singer Dusty Springfield recorded her song "Free Girl." That same year, Creed teamed with Bell, a staff writer, producer, and arranger at Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's record label Philadelphia International Records.[1]. Their first songwriting collaboration, "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)", became a Top 40 pop hit for the Stylistics, beginning an extended collaboration that also yielded the group's most successful recordings, including "You Are Everything", "Betcha by Golly, Wow", "Break Up to Make Up", "People Make the World Go Round", "You Make Me Feel Brand New," and "I'm Stone in Love with You" (the latter with Anthony Bell). Creed and Bell also paired on a number of hits for the Spinners, including "Ghetto Child", "I'm Coming Home", "Living a Little, Laughing a Little", and "The Rubberband Man."

[2] Linda Creed also worked with fellow Pennsylvania native Phyllis Hyman on many of her songs, most notably "Old Friend." Though diagnosed with breast cancer at 26, Creed kept on working, teaming with composer Michael Masser and writing the lyrics to the song "The Greatest Love of All", the main theme of the film The Greatest, a biopic of the great boxer Muhammad Ali, launched in 1977.

The song was originally recorded by George Benson and released as a single in 1977, becoming a big hit, peaked at #2 on the R&B chart. The lyrics of the song were written in the midst of her struggle with breast cancer. The words describe her feelings about coping with great challenges that one must face in life, being strong during those challenges whether you succeed or fail, and passing that strength on to children to carry with them into their adult lives.

In December 1984, the song was recorded by Whitney Houston for her 1985 self-titled debut album and it would top the charts in May 1986. Weeks before Houston reached number one, Creed died of breast cancer on April 10, 1986, at the age of 37. She was survived by her husband, Stephen "Eppy" Epstein, a longtime music promoter around Philadelphia, and their two daughters, Roni Lee and Dana Creed.[3]. The following year, her family and friends established the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation.

In 1992, she was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.[4]. "The Greatest Love of All" – originally recorded in 1977 by George Benson; later covered by Whitney Houston in 1986. "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)" – originally recorded by The Stylistics also covered by Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye. "You Are Everything" – originally recorded by The Stylistics also covered by Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye.

"Betcha by Golly, Wow" – originally recorded by Connie Stevens as "Keep Growing Strong", later made famous by The Stylistics, later covered by Phyllis Hyman and Prince. "People Make the World Go Round" – The Stylistics, Angela Bofill, Michael Jackson. "I'm Stone in Love with You" – originally recorded by The Stylistics. "Only For The Children"- originally recorded by The Stylistics. "Break Up to Make Up" – originally recorded by The Stylistics. "Rockin' Roll Baby" – originally recorded by The Stylistics. "You Make Me Feel Brand New" – originally recorded by The Stylistics. "Ghetto Child" – originally recorded by The Spinners. "I'm Coming Home" – originally recorded by Johnny Mathis, later covered by The Spinners. "Life Is a Song Worth Singing" – originally recorded by Johnny Mathis, later covered by Teddy Pendergrass. "Living a Little, Laughing a Little" – originally recorded by The Spinners. "The Rubberband Man" – originally recorded by The Spinners.

"Old Friend" – originally recorded by Phyllis Hyman. "Half Crazy" – originally recorded by Johnny Gill. "Hold Me" – Teddy Pendergrass (duet with Whitney Houston). "I Don't Want To Lose You" - The Spinners. "Love Don't Love Nobody" - The Spinners. "Help Me Find a Way (To Say I Love You) Little Anthony & The Imperials. "If I Love You"- originally recorded by Little Anthony & The Imperials,later covered by The Stylistics. ^Jackson, John A. A House on Fire: The Rise and Fall of Philadelphia Soul. Oxford University Press. ^Ankeny, Jason. "Linda Creed Biography". All Media Network. Retrieved March 4, 2018. ^"Linda Creed, Songwriter, 37; Known for the 'Philly Sound'". The New York Times. Associated Press. ^"Linda Creed Profile". Songwriters Hall of Fame. Retrieved March 4, 2018. Linda Creed discography at Discogs. Linda Creed at Soul Walking. Linda Creed at Find a Grave. Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Linda_Creed&oldid=1045352492". Linda Creed found her way to the top of the best-selling charts as a member of a notable group of music makers known as the Philadelphia School. Born in the Quaker City in 1948, she attended Germantown High School, where she was active in music pursuits. In fact, during her high school years, she already was fronting her own band, Raw Soul, which made frequent appearances at the Philadelphia Athletic Club and at Sid Booker's Highline Lounge.Out of school in the mid-'60s, and eager to move on, she left Philadelphia for New York, where she obtained a job as a secretary at the famed Mills Music publishing company. She also utilized the time to develop her skills as a lyricist, but after eight months of little success, and feeling defeated, she returned to her hometown, which later became the inspiration for the song, "I'm Coming Home," (co-written with another prominent Philadelphian, Thom Bell).At age 22, Creed's patience was rewarded when her song, "Free Girl," was recorded by British artist Dusty Springfield.

Soon, she had another favorable opportunity to join Mighty Three Music (an affiliate of Philadelphia International Records) headed by the successful songwriting trio of Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Thom Bell. The association with Bell, led two years later to a recording of her song, "Stop, Look and Listen," by The Stylistics, a Philadelphia group whose records were being produced by Thom Bell.

Thereafter, numerous hits followed in quick succession, among them were "You Are Everything," "I'm Stone in Love with You," "Betcha, By Golly, Wow," "Break Up to Make Up," "Rock n' Roll Baby," "Rubber Band Man." In 1972, Linda Creed married Stephen Lee Epstein, and as though taking a cue from the happy event, her next recorded song was the mega hit, "You Make Me Feel Brand New." During this time, she wrote hit songs for The Spinners, Johnny Mathis, Teddy Pendergrass, Dionne Warwick, and others.

Then, in 1976, she, with husband Eppy and baby daughter, Roni moved to California where very soon she was busily producing a project with Lonnie Jordan, lead singer of the group, War.Later the same year, she underwent radical surgery for breast cancer. One month following her mastectomy, she was commissioned to write lyrics for the theme for a motion picture based on the life of Muhammad Ali. The song, later sung and recorded by George Benson, was "The Greatest Love of All," which was recorded a decade later by Whitney Houston.

The recording became an enormous hit and one of the biggest to that moment by the star.The Epstein family returned to Philadelphia in 1980, when Linda's second daughter, Dana, was born. During the early years of the '80s, Linda Creed enjoyed continuing success with her songs, with recordings by Johnny Gill, Stacy Latislaw, The Stylistics, Teddy Pendergrass, and of course, Whitney Houston. The song "Hold Me," written by Creed and Michael Masser, the man who had brought Linda into the Muhammad Ali project, was the first adult contemporary hit for Pendergrass.

She also wrote the theme for the TV series, "Simon and Simon." Over the years, cover recordings of her songs were major hits for Roberta Flack, Rod Stewart, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson and numerous others.Linda Creed lost her long lingering battle with cancer at the age of 37, when she died in April 1986. Born: December 6, 1948. Lyricist Linda Creed teamed with composer/producer Thom Bell to author a series of hits forever linked to the lush and seductive Philly soul sound of the early '70s. Born in Philadelphia in 1949, Creed was raised in the city's Mt.

Her career was launched in 1971 when the great Dusty Springfield recorded her song "Free Girl." That same year, Creed teamed with Bell, a staff writer, producer, and arranger at Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff's famed Philadelphia International Records. Their first songwriting collaboration, "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)," became a Top 40 pop hit for the Stylistics, beginning an extended collaboration that also yielded the group's symphonic soul classics "You Are Everything," "Betcha By Golly, Wow," and "I'm Stone in Love With You." Creed and Bell also paired on a number of hits for the Spinners, including "Ghetto Child," "I'm Coming Home," "Living a Little, Laughing a Little," and, most famously, the 1976 blockbuster "The Rubberband Man." The O'Jays, Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, and other noted performers had hit records with Creed's songs. Roberta Flack, George Benson, and Diana Ross scored gold records because of her music, and she contributed to two platinum albums by Teddy Pendergrass.

Though diagnosed with breast cancer at 26, Creed kept on working, teaming with composer Michael Masser to write "The Greatest Love of All" for the 1977 Muhammad Ali biopic The Greatest; in the spring of 1986, the song topped the charts for singer Whitney Houston. Sadly, weeks before Houston reached number one, Creed's battle with cancer ended on April 10, 1986. The following year, her family and friends established the Linda Creed Breast Cancer Foundation.

In 1992, she was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide (allmusic.com).

Bell and Creed’s prolific composing and songwriting, signature kept the Stylistics ahead of the pack of stand-up vocal groups: “Because guys were starting to catch up to my sound, I said, “that’s okay, that’s all right.” I started digging deeper into my own background and deeper into the symphonic orchestra…” Just four years into their fertile partnership, Creed was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was just 26 years old. Bell was by her side when doctors told her she would never have children. In Creed fashion, she put her pen to paper, crafting an ode to her mentor and friend. It became the Stylistics biggest hit: “My love, I’ll never find the words my love, to tell you how I feel my love. Mere words, could not explain, precious love, You held my life within your hands, created everything I am, Taught me how to live again. Only you, Cared when I needed a friend believed in me through thick and thin, This song is for you, filled with gratitude and love God bless you, you make me feel brand new, For God blessed me with you, you make me feel brand new, I sing this song ’cause you, make me feel brand new.Described by Creed as “different from what people think of in R&B” You Make Me feel Brand New –marked the end of Bell and Creed’s association with the Stylistics.

Bell turned his full attention to the Spinners and drafted a new team of writers to help execute the creative vision he had for the group. Creed pitched in, writing lyrics to some of their most memorable songs. Five consecutive gold albums (three went to #1) and a string of hit singles later, the Spinners went from journeyman act to pick of the litter of 70s vocal groups.

At the peak of Creed’s creative powers, Stephen Epstein lobbied for his wife to become an equal partner in Gamble-Huff Music. Instead she received a contract revision granting her a larger writer percentage. Parting ways with her Philly Soul colleagues, she headed for California to pursue writing and producing opportunities. In ’77 she scored a major hit, co-writing The Greatest Love of All, the moving theme song for Muhammad Ali biopic The Greatest. She would later take a five-year hiatus from the industry and move back East to the Philly suburbs to raise her family.

Creed could afford to take time off. She’d earned nearly half a million dollars in song royalties by ‘75. She had a beautiful home in the Philly suburbs with enough land to fulfill her dream of raising horses. Instead of a life of opulence, things were low-key at 1425 Schirra Drive. Weekends were fish tank cleanings and ping-pong games at Bell’s home. Creed considered herself a “middle-class Jewish woman” who happily wrote songs in between changing diapers and cooking. She was also the ultimate anti-star who went out of her way not flaunt her songwriting prowess:“The neighbors knew she was in the record business, but they had no idea what she did. She was content to be the cook in the kitchen rather than the whipped cream on the cake. She’d be in the dentist’s chair and her songs would be playing on Muzak and she wouldn’t tell anyone it was hers. “Every time I tried to tell people, she’d step on my foot,”—- husband Stephen Epstein (1986)Through all her successes, Creed’s health issues always loomed in the background. Three years after her breast cancer diagnosis, she underwent a radical mastectomy. As always, she pressed on, pen game strong. When Creed breezed into her doctor’s office in diamonds and a fur coat and all, he marveled at her strength during the rigorous chemo sessions that would make her sick on the way home (“Pull over. I gotta throw up”).Never one to allow others to see her in pain, sometimes even Creed’s steely veneer could be penetrated. During a writing session at her home, Bruce Hawes learned of his old friend’s health condition from her husband. Usually his visits to the Creed-Epstein home were an upbeat affair. This time he felt a different vibe—especially when he privately observed Creed having a solemn tearful moment: “Because of what her husband said to me earlier, I knew she would never see the horses playing in the meadow she was looking out at. I could see she knew it too. I noticed her sitting and gazing out the dining room window. And as she was looking beyond the ranch style fence at the meadow, I also noticed she was writing on the legal pad with tears in her eyes…” Creed never stopped working and compiled a stockpile of recorded demos with various collaborators.

When she reemerged, a ’85 Billboard Magazine trumpeted her arrival (“Songwriter/Producer Returns to Active Service”). In a younger market dominated by MTV, rap and rock acts, Creed was not intimidated by the music industry’s climate change. She was right in synch with mature R&B and contemporary pop ballads targeting a more adult crowd. She boldly stated her intent to reclaim her spot in the music business: “I called companies that I’d done business with over the years and told them I was very confident of what I could give to the industry. Everyone can’t jump on Prince’s thing. Its like a pendulum swing. After bam-bam, the love songs will always be there”. Creed wrote for various artists in the Eighties but her songs were especially a boon for old Philly Soul comrade Teddy Pendergrass. Creed’s HoldMe —became a Pendergrass ballad that introduced the world to Whitney Houston. As Pendergrass—the first Black artist with five consecutive platinum albums until a car accident left him a quadriplegic— looked to revive his career, Creed became Pendergrass’ songwriting mentor. It would help him generate publishing revenue to offset his loss of lucrative touring income. Pendergrass went on to enjoy a solid career as a gold-selling artist. Touched by Creed’s support for him as her own condition worsened, he paid tribute to her in his 1998 memoir TrulyBlessed: “She was a woman with courageous spirit and at a time she was faced so many problems of her own she gave so much to me. I realized how much money I was losing by not writing my own songs, but I wasn’t certain I had what it took to write songs good enough that I’d want to record them. Linda gets total credit for pushing me to try. Even when she was clearly losing her battle, she found a way to a way to cheer me through mine.”

Creed remained close to her Philly comrades, booking time at Sigma Sound Studios for her writing and producing projects. Old partner Bell— by this time living in Washington State enjoying semi-retirement, reunited with Creed for a series of one-off projects including a final collaboration with singer Phyllis Hyman.

Phyllis Hyman tearfully discusses recording one of Creed’s final compositions.
By early ’86 Creed—racked by bone and liver cancer became bedridden. As usual, her mental resolve and strength were ever-present as the end was near:“I came home one day, and she was lying on the bed and she said, ‘I’ve got to tell you something right now. I’m very content. I’ve lived a full life with you in 15 years. I don’t care if I die. I’m happy, I’m at peace. The only thing I’m going to miss is hanging around with you. But I know you’ll be fine.’ —-Stephen Epstein (1986) Linda Creed was falling into a coma as Whitney Houston’s version of The Greatest Love of All headed up back up the charts for the second time, nearly a decade after its release. On April 10, 1986 Creed passed away as Love closed in on the top spot, losing her battle with cancer at the young age of 37. Flowers and fruit baskets poured into the Epstein home from all over the world.On the eve of a concert sponsored by the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Music Association, featuring artists who made Creed’s songs hits – Whitney Houston, the Stylistics, the Spinners, Phyllis Hyman, Michael Masser and the MFSB Orchestra paid musical tribute to the late songwriter—Creed’s husband eulogized his wife, reflecting on her humility and talent during an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer:“Paul McCartney was dying to meet Creed and she couldn’t believe it. . . . She’d say ‘Get outta here, you don’t want to meet me.’ She didn’t realize who she was. . . .She wrote all these songs changing diapers. “Thommy would give her the melody and I’d come home, and she would be sitting at the dinner table with our daughter in a little rocker, with a bottle in one hand and a pencil in the other….Linda Creed didn’t deserve to die like that, because that girl never hurt or harmed a hair on an ant. This is the hardest thing in my life or my children’s life that we’ll ever have to deal with. But my kids are two proud little girls who rose to the occasion. When Mom passed away, for them, the relief of not seeing Mommy hurt anymore . . . all the ambulances, stretchers, doctors, surgery. Now, as much as they miss her, they don’t have to see her in pain.”Together, Linda Creed and Thom Bell were awarded 23 gold and platinum records. Many of the their hundred-plus compositions demonstrate a durable staying power via films, remakes, reinterpretations and samples in every music genre. Bell proudly remembered the chemistry they shared in creating modern-day standards:“Gamble and Huff are great writers of the soul. Creed and I are great writers of the heart.” There’s a vast difference. It ain’t but about six inches apart, but it’s miles apart when it comes to feeling.” When we would write, we would be in the spheres of the air. We would be way out there. Creed lived lyrics, just like I live melodies. I had a motto: when you hear one of my melodies, I don’t want it to bounce off your ear, I want it to caress your ear.When the likes of Johnny Carson or Mike Douglas came calling for the duo to appear on their talk shows—the equivalent of becoming a trending topic on social media—Bell and Creed didn’t budge. They preferred regular lives away from the business. Even as the cash rolled in, Bell still took public transportation and Creed preferred a simple life of anonymity away from the music business:“Tommy and I have turned down several TV shows because he takes the bus to work every morning and says how can I take the bus to work if people know who I am? They’ll never leave me alone. How can I go into Pantry Pride and go shopping? I will not perform. I will never perform. I am very happy at home. I’d like to be a mother someday. I want equal balance between my business and home life”. Bell and Creed let the music speak for them and the music world listened. Johnny Mathis ventured out to Creed’s home to have her customize lyrics to accommodate his lisp. R&B/disco songs shot the Bee Gees into orbit, but the wind beneath their wings were Philly-style ballads like Too MuchHeaven (“we were very influenced by Linda Creed songs like Betcha By Golly Wow and the hit by the Stylistics—You Make Me Feel Brand New”) and Love So Right (“we twere rying to be the Delfonics”). Heatwave’s slow jams like Always and Forever (“melt all my heart away/with a smile”)recreated the Bell-Creed formula. During the 80’s their music has been immortalized in TV commercials advertising 70s soul album compilations.

During the 90s and 2000s,You AreEverything turned up in hit R&B songs by Mary J. Blige and Letoya Luckett. Prince covered Betcha By Golly Wow. Hip-hop/R&B’s swagger was retired in favor of next-level millennial emo-soul singers John Legend, Daley, The Weekend and Daley—with a hint of Creed’s sentimental romantic vibe and delivered in Thompkins’ stylistic falsetto. When Bad Boy Records singer/producer Mario Winans sings ”Somebody said they saw you/ the person you were kissing wasn’t me” on 2004’s I Don’t Wanna Know, its a deja vu homage to Thompkins’ painful revelation of mistaken identity on Bell and Creed’s You Are Everything back in ’71: ”As she turned the corner/ I called out her name/I felt so ashamed/ That it wasn’t you”. In 2017, Bell was presented with the Grammy Awards highest honor—the Trustees Award acknowledging his contributions to American music while Thompkins—in full vocal form—performed classic material written by Bell and Creed.Today’s music industry is congested with commuters on the road to riches navigating the fast lane in search of fortune and fame. As they travel at the speed of light, Thom Bell and Linda Creed’s creative feats seem lost in history’s rearview mirror. Thanks to their timeless body of work, their legacy—in the words of one of their greatest songs—keeps growing strong.

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